Black Widow’s Coolest MCU Battle Wasn"t Shown In Its Movies Or Shows

  • Black Widow's unseen battle with the Ten Rings was a missed opportunity for a thrilling espionage film much earlier in the MCU.
  • SHIELD tasked Natasha with dismantling a major Ten Rings operation, aiming to launch a Jericho missile with the goal of mass global destabilization.
  • The prelude comic would have been a dynamic foundation for an earlier Black Widow solo movie, providing a stronger introduction to Natasha Romanoff's character ahead of 2012's The Avengers.
One of Black Widow's coolest battles in the MCU was never shown in the movies or shows. Set between the events of Iron Man 2 and The Avengers, Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff was tasked by SHIELD to dismantle a major criminal operation. As such, it's been confirmed that one of Black Widow's most important missions in the canonical MCU took place before she became one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and yet it was never shown on-screen.
Originally part of the KGB's Red Room under the direction of General Dreykov, Natasha Romanoff was a lethally efficient and conditioned Rusian assassin. However, she was eventually saved and recruited by Clint Barton's Hawkeye, joining SHIELD as an undercover agent. Having first appeared in 2010's Iron Man 2, it was later revealed that SHIELD tasked Black Widow with dismantling a key operation belonging to the Ten Rings, the criminal organization run by the Mandarin, Shang-Chi's father.
Related How To Watch the Marvel Movies In Order (By Release Date & In Order Of MCU Timeline Events) Want to catch up before the next release, or just revisit the universe for a refresher? Here"s the order to watch the entire MCU timeline.
Black Widow Fought The Ten Rings Between Iron Man 2 & The Avengers Preventing The Use Of The Jericho Missile Close Despite kidnapping Tony Stark in the first Iron Man, the Ten Rings failed to obtain their Jericho Missile after Stark built his first suit of armor and escaped before they could force him to build one for them. However, the canonical comic miniseries The Avengers Prelude: Black Widow Strikes reveals The Ten Rings still wanted their Jericho missile even in the wake of Iron Man 2. Intending to launch the devastating weapon on the border between Russia and North Korea in a bid to destabilize the entire geopolitical landscape.
Iron Man 2 PG-13 Adventure Sci-FiAction The third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man 2, is an action-superhero film that occurs six months after the original film's events. After outing himself as the heavy metal superhero known as Iron Man, Tony Stark goes to great lengths to avoid demands from the government for his tech. But, unfortunately, the technology Tony used to save his life is beginning to impact his health inversely - just in time for a man named Ivan Vanko to arrive, who creates his version of the Iron Man tech to settle a decades-long score with Howard Stark's son.
Director Jon Favreau Release Date May 7, 2010 Studio(s) Disney , Marvel Distributor(s) Disney , Marvel Writers Justin Theroux Cast Robert Downey Jr. , Mickey Rourke , Don Cheadle , gwyneth paltrow Runtime 124 minutes Franchise(s) Marvel Cinematic Universe , Iron Man Sequel(s) Iron Man 3 prequel(s) Iron Man Budget $200 million Expand Seeing as how Stark gave up weapons manufacturing after his kidnapping, the parts for the missile stolen and obtained by the Ten Rings were in truth rip-offs made by Justin Hammer, but the crucial software remained the same. Once realizing that all the components were headed to the Ten Rings with the goal of global destabilization, Black Widow became a one-woman army in a high-pressure race to prevent WWIII. Succeeding in her mission, it's rather notable that Natasha Romanoff dismantled such a large-scale offensive orchestrated by the Ten Rings, even if she didn't face the Mandarin directly.
Why Black Widow Didn't Fight The Ten Rings On-Screen A Prelude To 2012's Avengers Seeing as how this story was published as a prelude to the very first Avengers movie in 2012, the MCU was still quite new. At the time, only Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and Hulk had had solo ventures, and only within a four-year window since the first Iron Man in 2008. As such, ambitions were likely not as high to give Black Widow her own solo movie at the time, as Marvel Studios was more interested in getting their first true crossover off the ground.
That said, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige did say that conversations about a Black Widow movie began as early as 2010 following Johansson's debut as Natasha in Iron Man 2. However, Black Widow wouldn't end up getting her own movie until 2020 with the film primarily being set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Regardless, while this prelude comic is still part of the official MCU canon, it would have been very exciting to have seen it if realized in live-action and on the big screen as a much earlier Black Widow feature.
Black Widow PG-13 SuperheroActionAdventureSci-Fi Black Widow is a film about Natasha Romanoff in her quests between the films Civil War and Infinity War. This is the 24th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first solo film for Black Widow, one of the original six Avengers. The character previously appeared in seven MCU films, including all four Avengers movies. Black Widow was originally scheduled for May 2020 but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Director Cate Shortland Release Date July 9, 2021 Studio(s) Marvel Distributor(s) Disney Writers Ned Benson , Don Heck , Stan Lee , Don Rico , Jac Schaeffer Cast Scarlett Johansson , Florence Pugh , David Harbour , O-T Fagbenle , Olga Kurylenko , William Hurt , Ray Winstone , Rachel Weisz Runtime 134 minutes Budget $288.5 Million Expand Why Black Widow's Unseen MCU Story Is One Of Its Biggest Missed Opportunities A Dynamic Foundation For A Great Espionage Movie Having been told in the comics medium, Black Widow's MCU battle with the Ten Rings has gone largely unseen and unknown by the greater fanbase, certainly making it one of the biggest missed opportunities for her character. In a perfect alternate reality, this prelude comic would have been the script for a Black Widow solo movie, one set before the release of The Avengers. Not only would it have had exciting ties to the preexisting Iron Man movies, but it also would have served as some key set-up and greater introduction for Natasha's character ahead of the 2012 crossover as well.
The Avengers PG-13 ActionSci-Fi The sixth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Avengers is an action superhero film that sees the heroes assembled across the franchise face off with a deadly galactic threat. With the arrival of Thor's brother, Loki, heroes such as Captain America, The Hulk, Iron Man, and Black Widow are brought together to stop him from unleashing an alien race upon earth.
Director Joss Whedon Release Date May 4, 2012 Studio(s) Marvel Distributor(s) Marvel , Disney Writers Joss Whedon , Zak Penn Cast Chris Hemsworth , Mark Ruffalo , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Samuel L. Jackson , Stellan Skarsgård , Clark Gregg , Paul Bettany , Cobie Smulders , Tom Hiddleston , Jeremy Renner , gwyneth paltrow , Chris Evans Runtime 2h 23m prequel(s) Avengers: Age of Ultron , Avengers: Endgame , Avengers: Infinity War Budget 220 Million Expand Upcoming MCU Movies
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